In March 2012, Joan and Richard logged onto the same online dating website and connected. Their online chemistry led to a phone call that lasted for hours and a first date the very next day. Moving forward, the couple took to Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, Florida for their engagement session, marking their continuous love and upcoming July 17, 2016 stop. Their wedding in Lake Mary, Florida!
Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!
Our story began March 2012 on Black People Meet, yes, an online dating website! We talked on the phone the first night for hours and hours. We agreed to meet the next day at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. We were very nervous about meeting so soon after limited amount of conversation the night before on the dating website but decided to follow through with it. Richard was actually late to the first date but as soon as we met, we immediately hit it off. Richard says what first attracted him to me was my attentiveness the first day they met. I was intrigued and paid close attention to him while he spoke about himself, his family and his interests. I say my initial attraction to Richard was his genuineness and how he made me feel comfortable as soon as we met. He was not trying to be anyone else but himself. Richard met my children, Jalen and Jonas early on and they immediately developed a connection. As the days and months went by, we were able to spend a lot of time together, getting to know one another and meeting each other’s families.
The proposal was very sentimental. Although, we had been talking about moving towards the next phase in our relationship, I definitely had no idea it was going to happen that day, June 13, 2015. On a weekend he was supposed to be out of town attending his daughter's graduation, he came home early and started a petty and trivial argument with me. I was so upset. He later asked if the boys and I wanted to go to dinner and of course, we all said yes since we love to eat. We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Benihana's. He had the chef prepare an "I Love You" sign using the chicken fried rice for me as he pulled me towards him while Jalen, my oldest son, put the ring box on the my plate. He then began to get up and kneel on one knee and profess his love for me and the boys and opened the small little black box. All the restaurant staff cheered and raised a glass of bubbly to us. I was in utter shock but I was able to gather my thoughts enough to say "Yes." To see the look on Jalen and Jonas’s faces was priceless and made my decision all the more just.
The engagement session…
The engagement session was very nice. I wanted to find a venue that would carry out who Richard and I were....fun, classy and elegant.
What's your favorite thing to do as a couple?
Our favorite thing to do as a couple is go on road trips. We've taken several long and mini road trips over the years. It gives us the time to chat and spend some good quality time together.
How has wedding planning been so far?
For the most part, the planning has been fun. Rich and I have been making a lot of the decisions together. I try not to leave him out...ha ha!
Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day.
We are looking forward to standing before God, our family and friends and pledging our love and commitment to each other.
Photographer: Wendell Daltirus, DW Photography
Assistant: Stephanie Severe